Additive World Announces Design Challenge 2020 Winners

A design for a laser welding head, winner of the professional category for Design Challenge 2020 [Source: Additive World]

A design for a laser welding head, winner of the professional category for Design Challenge 2020 [Source: Additive World]

Additive World 2020 announced the winners of their annual Design Challenge.

The Netherlands-based event brings together specialists in additive manufacturing to share knowledge and ideas. However, this year was quite challenging for the event, which brilliantly pivoted from a physical style to a virtual event in record time. The event was quite successful, albeit in a different format. 

One of the features of the event is an annual Design Challenge , which hopes to bring out great ideas for metal additive manufacturing from interested parties. There are two categories of awards, one being for professionals in the industry, and the other for students. 

This year the professional category winner was — once again — Netherlands-based K3D, for a new type of laser welding head, seen at top. Additive World explains: 

“Improved performance, functional integration, conformal cooling channels, light-weighting and optimized local porosities are all features that make this application a clear winner in a tough category this year with some other excellent case studies. The judges felt it refreshing to see that the K3D application made a strong business case and design in a real, industrial application, a category that isn’t always well represented in design competitions. This design could not be produced in any other way than additive manufacturing and on top of that it can be printed without any supports in an efficient build setup, Design for Additive Manufacturing at its best.”

K3D’s 3D printed metal dough cutting knife being wielded in a threatening manner by a robot [Source: Fabbaloo]

K3D’s 3D printed metal dough cutting knife being wielded in a threatening manner by a robot [Source: Fabbaloo]

K3D actually won the 2019 Design Challenge as well, presenting a dough cutting knife design. I saw this design at Formnext 2019 being wielded by an active robot. Note: It was mildly disturbing to have a robot wave a sharp knife at me, but I survived.

The winner in the student category was Younes Chahid, who presented a design for a Hip Implant Stem.

A design for a hip stem implant, winner of the student category for Design Challenge 2020 [Source: Additive World]

A design for a hip stem implant, winner of the student category for Design Challenge 2020 [Source: Additive World]

Additive World explains: 

“This noble and highly functional application improves patients’ lives by shortening operation times as well as recovery times. The design of the structure is fully optimized with varying lattice densities and thicknesses for optimal bone ingrowth. Younes’s story is complete and told with expertise and passion. The part can only be produced using metal additive manufacturing and in addition, is designed to print without supports, capable for being nested to maximise the total number of parts per build and therefore also lowering the total cost per part to allow for democratising this for patients around the world.”

Both of these awards are meaningful, but the true value is in the inspiration to others for innovative additive design. 

It’s easy to simply attempt to duplicate an existing traditional design, but far more difficult to create an original design that truly leverages the capabilities of additive manufacturing processes. This event is perhaps the one that best addresses that need, and I hope more designers will follow their lead. 

By the way, registrations are open for the Design Challenge 2021. 

Via Additive World